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November 22, 2006

I was watching Lewis Black, the comic, on Comic Relief this weekend and he talked about the word retarded. Mr. Black claimed that it is a great word, very useful and we shouldn’t let it go due to pressure for being politically correct. He cautioned that if you should never use it when referring to a mentally challenged person but if you are talking about an adult, of reasonably average intelligence and bullshit is coming out of their mouth you should be able to say, “Stop talking. That is retarded.”

I couldn’t agree more. defines it as:

Retard \Re*tard”\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Retarded; p. pr. & vb. n. Retarding.]

[L. retardare, retardatum; pref. re- re- + tardare to make slow, to delay, fr. tardus slow: cf. F. retarder. See Tardy.]

1. To keep delaying; to continue to hinder; to prevent from progress; to render more slow in progress; to impede; to hinder; as, to retard the march of an army; to retard the motion of a ship; — opposed to accelerate.

2. To put off; to postpone; as, to retard the attacks of old age; to retard a rupture between nations.

Syn: To impede; hinder; obstruct; detain; delay; procrastinate; postpone; defer. ”

My favorite Aunt is mentally challenged and I would never consider her retarded. The definition just has never fit for her or anyone else I have ever known to be mentally challenged. I don’t know why that great and succinct word has gotten paired with people who have below average intelligence.  My Aunt has only ever been kind, sweet, willing to help, generous, funny, loving and thoughtful and the fact that she is below averag intelligence really just doesn’t figure into how wonderful a person she is. I have never once felt that she “held things up” in anything that I have done with her or seen her accomplish. I would never consider her retarded. Now while I am and my family have had a long history of supporting ARC…I really think they need a name change. Mentally challenged people are not retarded they are just different and in this day in age we should and must make allowances for all kinds of people. Many mentally challenged adults hold down wonderful jobs, go to school and contribute to society in the sames ways a person of average intelligence does. Or not. I have never met (and I have met many..not all, just my experience) a mentally challenged person who did not want to work, live, love and experience all that life has to offer. O the other hand I have met MANY able bodied people of average intelligence who will not work, do not contribute to the world in any productive way and who do their level best to destroy shit for other people.

Doesn’t everyone go at their own pace? Are we not all individuals and progress or not at varying degrees? Isn’t the effort as valuable as the deed itself? While I will never be a rocket scientist and be capable of physics and long complicated string theory math, I do not believe that I am holding up the wheels of progress in the math field in general due to my personal deficit in the math area. I can not fix a computer and only use one to a partially apt level and while my good friend Keith has tried to explain how the internet is on my computer–it still confounds me. Still this deficiency in the understanding of how my computer works does not hinder the blazing path of internet information on the general population and degrade or slow down its progress.

Bullshit and stupidity hold progress up. President bush can have all the college degrees he wants and what he is doing to our country will always be considered retarded.  People who stop in the middle of the road and put on their hazard light in order to retrieve something from their backseat while stopped at a green light will always be retarded. The catholic church continuing to prohibit priests from marrying if they want to while allowing molestation to go on is really retarded. I have just named a few things…but you can think of about 20 or so things yourself. No?

Using all your capabilities to make your life the best it can be and attempting to be loving and kind to others while acting on your own best interests is all anyone could hope for. It is the person who  is capable of making one choice that may serve the greater good but chooses to do the thing that best serves him and to fuck the other people in this world who are the retarded ones.  Selfishness impedes progress and not the measure of ones IQ.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Fabiola Thing permalink
    July 27, 2007 11:36 pm

    I referred to this entry on, in its review of No Reservations. There was some controversy regarding the use of the word retarded. In my opinion the critic’s usage was proper, however, I agree, the word should NEVER be used to refer to people with mental challenges or developmental delays. It’s disrespectful.

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